Sunday, September 21, 2008

Week of September 15

What a week. This was truly post-Ike recovery week. Well, recovery for the Gulf Coast area, not on the bike. I was supposed to be in Japan this week with a full week of rest without the bike, but because of the hurricane those plans got pushed. Without power or phone, I decided to ride down to Clear Lake on my race bike and try to get into my office. During the ride down I saw quite a bit of tree and roof damage, but no real structural damage. I got to the gate at work and was told I wasn’t allowed to enter. I asked when we’d be able to get back to work and was told a week from Monday. Alright, a free week’s vacation! I had ridden the race bike instead of the PC equipped bike merely because it was still tucked away in the garage.

By Tuesday I had cleaned out enough of the garage to get to the PC equipped bike. I went out on a long 3 hour ride through Brazoria county. Not much to note except my legs were really tired. The last 1.5 hours was a real struggle for me. So Wednesday was a relaxing 1:05 ride to recover. Thursday I put in my longest ride yet on the PCs. It was a little slow due to wind coming home, but nonetheless it was 65 miles and 3:50 in duration. I’m hoping to be up to a century the first part of October.

Friday was off, and Saturday was group ride day on the race bike with regular cranks. Just like the last group ride, I felt strong. I’m quite happy about the bounce in the legs as it’s been a long week. From Monday-Thursday I racked up 200 miles on the bike plus about 10-12 from running. It seemed like my legs would be toast but they responded well.

Sunday was a good day of PCing as well. 2 hours in the saddle with a good VO2 effort on one stretch. Yes I was dead tired after that effort, but I didn’t feel any fatigue or pain in the hip flexors. After that hard pull I jumped off the back of the group to ride home and do my own thing (consistent upper level 2 to mid level 3 riding).

I’m giving myself 1 more week of endurance type riding before officially starting the new training year, which will begin with tempo riding. My PC fitness has certainly improved over the last month, but time will tell if it translates to better regular crank fitness.

PC time this week – 9 hours 55 minutes
PC time to date – 53 hours 20 minutes

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Week of September 8

What can I say? It's been a wild week. First the nitty gritty. I spent all of about 2.5 hours this week on PCs. Why? Well, it's been a wild week! Hurricane Ike's projected path early in the week was bearing right down on us. By Thursday hurricane preparations were in full force at the house. I spent the day cutting wood, boarding up, and clearing the garage to fit 2 cars. That last task meant arranging bikes. I brought the race bike indoors, and the PC equipped bike was crammed back in the garage. With the PC bike out of sight, grabbing it for a ride was tough. From Thursday to Sunday I did get some riding in (on all 4 days in fact), but all were on the race bike with regular cranks. Hey, no apologies there. Hurricanes forced me to do it.

Fortunately the house was spared any real damage. The roads were a little messy Saturday and Sunday, but overall things are pretty good. I was supposed to go to Japan Sunday morning, but the airport was closed down and I cancelled the trip. What was going to be my one week vacation from riding looks to now be a one week cycling vacation (no work this week due to the aftermath of Ike). Expect lots of PC time next week.

PC time this week – 2 hours 30 minutes
PC time to date – 45 hours 55 minutes

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Week of September 1

Monday was Labor Day, so on holiday I did something laborious – my longest ride yet on the PCs. It wasn’t the most fun I’ve had. My legs were tired and really started to protest the long ride. I told myself I’d do a metric century, and that’s exactly what I did, albeit very slow by my standards. It was pathetically slow, in fact, at 3 and a half hours, but nonetheless I did rack up my longest ride on the PCs both in terms of distance and time. Too bad I averaged a measly 176 W normalized.

After wearing myself out on Monday, Tuesday was a short spin of 35 minutes on the PCs. Wednesday I had no motivation so I didn’t even touch the bike. I’m pathetic. By Thursday I was getting back into the swing of things with a ride of just over 80 minutes and 203 W normalized. Woohoo! Friday was just an easy hour to save my legs for Saturday’s group ride.

I had made the decision to try to test on Saturday, but after a roughly 30 minute warmup before meeting up with the boys, I could tell my legs weren’t going to want to do a 20 minute TT. Instead I focused on simply riding hard in the group ride and letting the chips fall where they may. Being back on the regular cranks, I felt fantastic. Perceived effort was low. Whether it’s the PCs or the cooler, drier temperatures, I don’t know. All I do know is I set some yearly best mean maximal power values for the entire 2.5 to 3 hour time range. Given the reduction in volume and intensity lately and a perceived loss of aerobic power, Saturday was a pleasant surprise.

Sunday was a 2 hour endurance/tempo pace ride on the PCs. The legs didn’t feel as bad as I thought they would after Saturday’s ride (the legs hurt Saturday). The ride capped off a good week of riding. Longest PC ride and a solid Saturday ride with yearly bests. The jury is still out on the effectiveness of the PCs, and I need to build up that threshold power on the PCs to 20 minute intervals before really trying a 20 minute test on the race bike with regular cranks.

PC time this week – 8 hours 30 minutes
PC time to date – 43 hours 25 minutes